About Weather Now
Weather Now is the demonstration app for Inner Drive Technology, a micro software vendor in Chicago. The app gets live weather from public sources every five minutes, with tools to help users find current or historical weather for thousands of locations on earth.
Expand the sections below for more in-depth descriptions of how, when, and why we've developed the app.
Weather Now first went online in 1997 as a new set of features on a personal website. Yes, we really have been around for 25 years, 11 months since v0 launched.
- 24 June 1997: "current weather" feature added to David Braverman's personal page at Q2 II using generated HTML pages. Updated to Microsoft ASP 1.0 in August 1997.
- 11 November 1999: Weather Now v1 launches at www.wx-now.com using ASP 2.0 scripts embedded in static HTML pages.
- 20 September 2000: First known capture of v1 by the Wayback Machine. At this point the VB6 weather-retrieval bot ran locally on a desktop computer
- 1 January 2003: Public launch of v2, 100% rewritten in C# 2.0 (though the data layer and weather retrieval system used VB.NET). The SQL Server 2000 back-end included a 7.5-million-row gazetteer and full-text index.
- 1 January 2007: V3 launched with a brand-new UI design from Katie Toner that lasted until 2022. It used the same SQL Server database (now upgraded to SQL Server 2005) but the UI now ran on XML/XSLT fed by a separate API layer. We still hosted it in-house, though.
- 17 April 2009: V3.5 re-wrote (from scratch) the UI and data layers without changing the look-and-feel of the application.
- 3 March 2013: V4 saw a new API and UI layer in C# 4 and a lift-and-shift to Microsoft Azure Web and Worker roles. Due to a limitation in Azure SQL Database, the site temporarily lost its full-text search feature.
- 14 August 2014: Restored full-text searching using a custom Lucene component that stored its intermediary files in Azure Storage.
Almost 21 years after the first version launched, we started an ambitious bottom-up rewrite of the entire application. We started writing down ideas all the way back in 2015, but only in late 2019 did the whole structure start to make sense. Microsoft Azure added new features that our client work showed us would solve some of the worst problems with the v4 architecture.
Right away, we decided that the new version would chuck relational databases entirely. The gazetteer would use NoSQL. The weather data would use flat tables. The API would use true REST and JSON. The UI would use Blazor. And all of it would last until at least 2030.
Of course, client work kept taking precedence over our unpaid demo project. But eventually, we got going.
- 14 October 2020: Broke ground on v5 with an empty C#/.NET Core 3 solution and an empty Microsoft Azure subscription for the dev/test environment
- February-March 2021: Principal design and build on a brand-new gazetteer that runs on Microsoft Azure Cosmos DB.
- April 2021: Built a reusable, extensible gazetteer import tool to keep our geo database current from now on.
- May 2021: Added the API and UI assemblies to the project, then paused for the summer as life and paying work intervened.
- December 2021: Resumed work at full speed, building the home page, Current Weather, and METAR decoder APIs and UI elements. Oh, and we updated everything to .NET 6.
- 2 January 2022: Soft launch of Weather Now v5.0 build 8037 (dev/test environment).
- 3 March 2022: Finished all basic features of the application. It now can do most of what v4 does, only a lot better.
- 20 March 2022: Finished setting up Production environment. Set up DevOps pipelines. Deployed release candidate 1 (build 8115) to Production.
- 27 March 2022: Switched public DNS entries, effectively launching v5 (build 8122) to Production. Turned off the v4 workloads in Azure. Transferred v4 data to v5.
- 8 April 2022: Finished transferring archival v3 data (281 million weather records going back to 2006).
- 16 April 2023: You are here Updated to .NET 7, and added asynchronous code wherever possible.
- Summer 2023: Started importing complete Gazetteer (9 million records).
- Later in 2023: Personalization, more internationalization, tons of other features.
Inner Drive Weather - Web UI The Weather Now User Interface Version 5.0.8526.0 Release CLR 7.0.5 5/5/2023 11:15 PM Copyright ©2023 Inner Drive Technology. All rights reserved. Portions Copyright ©1986-2023 David Braverman. Inner Drive Extensible Architecture - Framework Base classes and types for the Inner Drive Extensible Architecture Version 5.0.8506.0 Release CLR 7.0.5 4/15/2023 4:15 PM Copyright ©2023 Inner Drive Technology. All rights reserved. Portions Copyright ©1986-2023 David Braverman. Inner Drive Gazetteer - Core Base classes and types for the Inner Drive Gazetteer Version 5.1.8491.0 Release CLR 7.0.5 3/31/2023 1:49 PM Copyright ©2023 Inner Drive Technology. All rights reserved. Portions Copyright ©1986-2023 David Braverman.
Your language: English (United States)
Site design, architecture, construction, and maintenance:
David Braverman. All parts of this Application, except as noted below, are Copyright ©2023 Inner Drive Technology, Chicago.
Current weather data:
The National Weather Service provides most of the current weather data available on this app. Specifically, we use Meteorological Aviation Reports (METARs) published every 5 minutes by the NWS, which we download, parse, store, and format for your use.
This notice is provided as required by 17 USC 403.
Geographic name data:
Toponymic information is based on the Geographic Names Database, containing official standard names approved by the United States Board on Geographic Names and maintained by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. More information is available at the Maps and Geodata link at www.nga.mil. The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency name, initials, and seal are protected by 10 USC 425.
Country population data:
United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division (2019). World Population Prospects 2019, Online Edition. Rev. 1. Copyright ©2019 by United Nations, made available under a Creative Commons license CC BY 3.0 IGO.
Other data sources:
The following organizations do not require specific credits or disclaimers, but we list them here for completeness:
- Federal Aviation Administration, US Dept of Transportation (public domain)